Friday, 28 February 2014

The Catholic Church & History

Pinched from a blog post on the excellent Motes 'n' Beams blog - Belloc on the Church:

"The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine - but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight".

English-speaking Catholics have been long blessed to benefit from the uncommon common-sense of Hilaire Belloc's books and essays on just about every subject under the sun, but especially regarding the Catholic Church and history.

In keeping with that fine tradition of English Catholics fearlessly relating true history as it should be told, Carmel Books is itself blessed to be able to offer newly published works that help give proper formation to new generations of Catholics; books like Hugh Williams' indispensable reference book From Ur to Us and Bella (the new 'Bellac') d'Abrera's riveting trilogy on the Tudors.

Those who don't understand the past, as they say, won't understand the present. And those who don't understand the present, can't shape the future.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

This Sainted Queen

Newly published - This Sainted Queen; the final book in a wonderful and much-needed trilogy of historical truth-seeking 
Bella d’Abrera is a London-based historian with specialist expertise in the history of the Catholic Church, the relationship between Church and State, and religious dissent in society. In 2003 she was awarded a Ph.D. in History from the University of Cambridge. She also has an M.A. in Spanish from the University of St Andrews and a B.A. in History and Spanish from Monash University, Melbourne.
She has already written The King with a Pope in his Belly and Papists, Spaniards & Other Strangers .She draws upon impeccable sources to challenge conventional assumptions about this turbulent period in the history of England. She makes the persuasive argument that far from being being a popular uprising, the Reformation was a social and cultural revolution imposed by the State with violent force upon the populace. 1500 years of Catholic culture was uprooted and replaced with a New Order based upon the revolutionary principles which had been introduced by Martin Luther into Germany. These principles were adopted by self-interested princes, deputies, and like-minded autocrats throughout Europe and became the direct cause of religious and social upheaval in those countries where they took hold.

Dr d’Abrera manages to bring to life the key events and conflicts of the time by exploring the thoughts and motivations of the protagonists. She exposes the many examples of human fallibilities and contrasts these with acts of unspeakable bravery and heroism. But the terrifying contemporary accounts of hardship and persecution are intermittently alleviated with a dose of dry humour. Her style is akin to journalistic reportage, and her books are both compact and welcomingly accessible to the non-historian.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

This Sacred Choral Music is Magnificat!

Traditional Catholic composer Nicholas Wilton began writing sacred choral music in 1990, having previously composed mainly for the piano.

His first introduction to music was the Mozart and Schubert Lieder which his German mother sang to her children.

In his twenties he came to admire the sacred music of the sixteenth century Catholic masters.

He is delighted that the acclaimed choir Magnificat should be the first to record his music.

Sir James Galway wrote of this CD, in review, that:

"This is one of my favourite CD's. Masterfully written, beautifully sung. It brings me closer to God. I have given it as a gift to many of my friends."

BBC Music Magazine: "Nicholas Wilton's 14 short motets take their harmonic language straight from the 16th century. Expressive suspensions abound... simple but effective music, beautifully sung."

Monday, 24 February 2014

St. Serenus the Gardener

February 23rd - Serenus was by birth a Grecian. He quitted estate, friends, and country to serve God in celibacy, penance and prayer.

With this design he bought a garden in Sirmium in Pannonia, which he cultivated with his own hands, and lived on the fruits and herbs it produced.

One day there came thither a woman, with her two daughters. Serenus, seeing them come up, advised them to withdraw, and to conduct themselves in future as decency required in persons of their sex and condition. the woman, stung at our saint's charitable remonstrance retired in confusion, but resolved on revenging the supposed affront.

She accordingly wrote to her husband that Serenus had insulted her. He, on receiving her letter, went to the emperor to demand justice, whereupon the emperor gave him a letter to the governor of the province to enable him to obtain satisfaction. The governor ordered Serenus to be immediately brought before him.

Serenus, on hearing the charge, answered: "I remember that, some time ago, a lady came into my garden at an unseasonable hour, and I own I took the liberty to tell her it was against decency for one of her sex and quality to be abroad at such an hour".

This plea of Serenus having put the officer to the blush for his wife's conduct, he dropped his prosecution. But the governor, suspecting by this answer that Serenus might be a Christian, began to question him, saying, "Who are you, and what is your religion?"

Serenus, without hesitating one moment, answered, "I am a Christian. It seemed a while ago as if God rejected me as a stone unfit to enter His building, but He has the goodness to take me now to be placed in it; I am ready to suffer all things for His name, that i may have a part in His kingdom with His saints".

The governor, hearing this, burst into rage and said, "Since you sought to elude by flight the emperor's edicts, and have positively refused to sacrifice to the gods, I condemn you for these crimes to lose your head".

The sentence was no sooner pronounced than the saint was carried off and beheaded, on the 23rd February, in 307.

Reflection - The garden affords a beautiful emblem of a Christian's continual progress in the path of virtue. Plants always mount upwards, and never stop in their growth till they have attained to that maturity which the Author of nature has prescribed. So in a Christian, everything ought to carry him toward that perfection which the sanctity of his state requires; and every desire of his soul, every action of his life should be a step advancing to this in a direct line.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Traditional Holy Week Book - Stock Just Arrived

Carmel Books is pleased to report that the long-awaited Holy Week: The Complete Offices in Latin and English has just arrived in stock.

This liturgical gem was first published in 1926 and was compiled by the Rt. Rev. Abbot Fernand Cabrol, O.S.B., who had been a prior at Solesmes Abbey, and who, in 1896, was appointed the very first prior and then the founding abbot, in 1903, of the new foundation of St. Michael's at Farnborough, Hampshire, a daughter house of Solesmes.

St. Severianus

In the reign of Marcian and St. Pulcheria, the Council of Chalcedon, which condemned the Eutychian heresy, was received by St. Euthymius and by a great part of the monks of Palestine.

But Theodosius, an ignorant Eutychian monk, and a man of a most tyrannical temper, under the protection of the Empress Eudoxia, widow of Theodosius the Younger, who lived at Jerusalem, perverted many amongst the monks themselves, and having obliged Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, to withdraw, unjustly possessed himself of that important See, and, in a cruel persecution which he raised, filled Jerusalem with blood; then, at the head of a band of soldiers, he carried desolation over the country.

Many, however, had the courage to stand their ground.

No-one resisted him with greater zeal and resolution than Severianus, Bishop of Scythopolis, and his recompense was the crown of martyrdom; for the furious soldiers seized his person, dragged him out of the city, and massacred him, in the latter part of the year 452 or in the beginning of the year 453.

Reflection - With what floods of tears can we sufficiently bewail so grievous a misfortune, and implore the Divine Mercy, in behalf of so many souls! How ought we to be alarmed at the consideration of so many dreadful examples of God's inscrutable judgments, and tremble for ourselves! "Let him who stands beware lest he fall". "Hold fast what thou hast," says the oracle of the Holy Ghost to every one of us, "lest another bear away thy crown".

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

St. Simeon

"St. Simeon was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister to the  Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin of Our Saviour.

We cannot doubt but that he was an early follower of Christ, and that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentacost, with the Blessed Virgin and the Apostles.

When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty.

St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after Our Saviour's Resurrection, the Apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that Church.

In the year 66, in which Sts. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year - before Vespasian, Nero's general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judea - and retired beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, having St. Simeon at their head.

After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. The Church here flourished, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it.

Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon had escaped their searches; but, Trajan having given the same order, certain heretics and Jews accused the saint, as being both of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine.

The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. After having undergone the usual tortures during several days, which, though one hundred and twenty years old, he suffered with so much patience that he drew on him a universal admiration, and that of Atticus in particular, he died in 107. He must have governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.

Reflection - We bear the name of Christians, but are full of the spirit of worldlings, and our actions are infected with the poison of the world. We secretly seek ourselves, even when we flatter ourselves that God is our only aim; and whilst we undertake to convert the world, we suffer it to pervert us. When shall we begin to study to crucify our passions and die to ourselves, that we may lay a solid foundation of true virtue and establish its reign in our hearts"?

Monday, 17 February 2014

Pre-Bugnini Breviary In the Pipeline?

Priests interested in purchasing copies of the pre-Bugnini Missale Romanum have already started to express their interest to Carmel Books, and a common point was raised with each enquiry. "We need a pre-Bugnini Breviary"!

Carmel Books sent this feedback to the USA-based publishers who are engaged in working on producing the 1948-based Altar Missal.

This is what we were told: "Our next project is exactly as you mentioned, the pre-1945 four volume Breviarium".

We understand that this second project of producing an uncontaminated Breviary depends entirely upon the success of the current project to produce the Altar Missal. The publishers require a certain number of pre-orders before they can go ahead and print, so if you're in Britain, Ireland or elsewhere in Europe please don't delay in contacting Carmel Books so we can pass on your pre-orders.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Catholic Mass: Just Another Fashion for Conciliar Clowns in The Big Tent of a New World Religion

The Catholic Mass is just one expression of many 'fashions' and 'experiences' in the Big Tent of the Conciliar Church, as reported on Vatican Radio yesterday: 

"When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone.

However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it.

'When I search more thoroughly' - the Pope said - 'I find that it is rather a kind of fashion. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention' ".

Friday, 14 February 2014

Pre-Bugnini Altar Missal before the Year is Up?

Carmel Books received the very welcome news today that a project is well-underway to bring back into print an Altar Missal unaffected by the modernising changes brought about by the Commission for Liturgical Reform led by Annibale Bugnini. The Easter Vigil and Holy Week remain intact with all twelve prophecies and the original Good Friday prayers.

Small pre-50's hand missals for the laity have been widely available for decades, and for decades have popularly constituted the great bulk of hand missals sold by Carmel Books. The Liber Usualis is also available in its 1953 edition, as is a pre-50's Ordo. Now, at last, it seems that an Altar Missal based on the 1948 Typical Edition will be available by the end of this year.

*   Genuine Leather Cover
*   Raised Bands along the Spine
*   Gold Guilding on Cover and Pages
*   Quality End Papers
*   Six Ribbon Markers
*   Genuine Leather Page Tabs
*   Smythe Sewn Triple Reinforced
*   Based on the 1948 Typical Edition
*   1224 Pages
*   29cms x 22cms x 7cms

From the Press Release:

"This Missale is made with the finest craftsmanship available today. The binding is triple-re-enforced genuine leather with gold end-sheets that lay flat when open. The gold stamping on both the inside and outside covers is truly suitable for an altar. The tabs are made of genuine leather and the raised bands along the spine are made from natural materials. This Missale is made to last.

This project has been in the design phase for several years on a very limited budget. The next step is to obtain a certain number of pre-orders to fund the entire printing. It is estimated that before the year is over this number will be achieved.

With your help we can bring this much needed edition of the Holy Mass back to the faithful who desire it and supply those priests whose hearts are devoted to the declarations of the Council of Trent with an Altar Missal worthy of their intentions".

Priests and faithful who might be interested in purchasing a copy of this Missale Romanum when it becomes available, please contact us in that regard so we can gauge how many copies will be needed in Britain and Ireland.

St. Valentine

Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II.

He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterward to be beheaded, which was executed on 14th February, about the year 270.

Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly Porta Valentini. The greater part of his relics are now in the Church of St. Praxedes.

To abolish the heathen's lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honour of their goddess Februata Juno, on the 15th of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day.

Reflection - In the cause of justice and truth, prudence should not be held in account; otherwise prudence is mere human respect. St. Paul says: "The wisdom of the flesh is death".

Thursday, 13 February 2014

St. Catherine de Ricci

"Alexandrina of Ricci was the daughter of a noble Florentine. At the age of thirteen she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic in the monastery of Prato, taking in religion the name Catherine, after her patron and namesake of Siena.

Her special attraction was to the Passion of Christ, in which she was permitted miraculously to participate. In the Lent of 1541, being then twenty-one years of age, she had a vision of the crucifixion so heartrending that she was confined to bed for three weeks, and was only restored, on Holy Saturday, by an apparition of St. Mary Magdalene and Jesus risen.

During twelve years she passed every Friday in ecstasy. She received the sacred stigmata, the wound in the left side, and the crown of thorns. All these favours gave her continual and intense suffering, and inspired her with a loving sympathy for the yet more bitter tortures of the Holy Souls.

In their behalf she offered all her prayers and penances; and her charity toward them became so famous throughout Tuscany that after every death the friends of the deceased hastened to Catherine to secure he prayers.

St. Catherine offered many prayers, fasts and penances for a certain great man, and thus obtained his salvation. It was revealed to her that he was in Purgatory; and such was her love of Jesus crucified that she offered to suffer all the pains about to be inflicted on that soul. Her prayer was granted. The soul entered Heaven and for forty days Catherine suffered indescribable agonies. Her body was covered with blisters, emitting heat so great that her cell seemed on fire. Her flesh appeared as if roasted, and her tongue like red-hot iron.

Amid all she was calm and joyful, saying "I long to suffer all imaginable pains, that souls may quickly see and praise their Redeemer".

She knew by revelation the arrival of a soul in Purgatory, and the hour of its release. She held intercourse with the saints in glory, and frequently conversed with St. Philip Neri at Rome without ever leaving her convent in Prato.

She died, amidst angels' songs, in 1589.

Reflection - If we truly love Jesus crucified, we must long, as did St. Catherine, to release the Holy Souls whom He has redeemed but has left to our charity to set free".

Wednesday, 12 February 2014


11th February is the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to St. Bernadette Soubirous.

"Her visions in 1858 of a "Beautiful Lady" would forever change the lives of countless people, and establish Lourdes as the most visited Catholic shrine in the world.

Our Lady's timeless message of "penance, conversion, and love" is as much needed now as it was then. Inspired by the many accounts of the famous story, but drawing especially from the wonderful book, St. Bernadette Soubirous by Abbe Francis Trochu and the first-hand account, The Appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Lourdes by Jean Baptiste Estrade, this film is perfectly suited for the entire family.

Featuring stunning locations, a rich musical score, and a cast of over 160 Catholic children, St. Bernadette of Lourdes is an inspiration for young and old alike".

Monday, 10 February 2014

Small Confession

Small confession .... that is the confession of small children, has just become the next targetted attack against the Church founded by Christ by the despicable anti-clerical 'presstitutes' of a modern media that is itself soaked in the glorification of sexual perversion and awash with near-pornography.

In a ludicrous attempt to blame Pope Saint Pius X for clerical child abuse, a new book written by the greatly-discredited hack John Cornwall claims that by lowering the age of First Communion and First Confession the holy pope opened the doors to paedophilia.

Totally ignoring the fact that in the Catholic confessional priest and penitent are physically separated by a wall and grille with separate entrances when 'in the box', the media hacks are actually complaining of the 'come into my room and relax on this comfy sofa' practice of the Conciliar Church and the worldly pre-conciliar Liberals who gave rise to it in the first place.

But, of course, the anti-clerical enemies of the Catholic Church insist on calling their monstrous and parasitical creation the 'Catholic' Church. It successfully drives poor souls away from the One Ark of Salvation.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Martyrs of Alexandria

Tomorrow, 9th February, the liturgical calendar normally celebrates the Feast of St. Apollonia and the martyrs of Alexandria.

"At Alexandria, in 249, the mob rose in savage fury against the Christians.

Metras, an old man, perished first. His eyes were pierced with reeds, and he was stoned to death. A woman named Quinta was the next victim. She was led to a heathen temple and bidden worship. She replied by cursing the false god again and again, and she too was stoned to death. After this the houses of the Christians were sacked and plundered. They took the spoiling of their goods with all joy.

St. Apollonia, an aged virgin, was the most famous amongst the martyrs. her teeth were beaten out, she was led outside the city, a huge fire was kindled, and she was told she must deny Christ, or else be burned alive. She was silent for a while, and then, moved by a special inspiration of the Holy Ghost, she leaped into the fire and died in its flames.

The same courage showed itself the next year when Decius became emperor, and the persecution grew until it seemed as if the very elect must fall away. The story of Dioscorus illustrates the courage of the Alexandrian Christians, and the esteem they had for martyrdom. He was a boy of fifteen. To the arguments of the judge he returned wise answers: he was proof against torture. His older companions were executed, but Dioscorus was spared on account of his tender years; yet the Christians could not bear to think that he had been deprived of the martyr's crown, except to receive it afterwards more gloriously. "Dioscorus," writes Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria at this time, "remains with us, reserved for some longer and greater combat".

There were indeed many Christians who came, pale and trembling, to offer the heathen sacrifices. But the judges themselves were struck with horror at the multitudes who rushed to martyrdom. Women triumphed over torture, till at last the judges were glad to execute them at once and put an end to the ignominy of their own defeat.

Reflection - Many saints, who were not martyrs, have longed to shed their blood for Christ. We, too, may pray for some portion of their spirit; and the least suffering for the Faith, borne with humility and courage, is the proof that Christ has heard our prayer".

Friday, 7 February 2014

30% of Children Know Nothing Of Christ

First Friday Reminder 

The BBC is reporting that 30% of children in our modern wasteland know nothing about Christianity and have hardly even heard of Holy Scripture.

"Surveys for the Bible Society found almost three in 10 young people were unaware the story of the birth of Jesus came from the Bible.

A similar number of children had never read or heard about tales of the Crucifixion or Adam and Eve.

The report was based on a poll of 800 children aged eight to 15 and about 1,100 parents.

The study revealed a generation of children with little knowledge of the most important stories forming the basis of Christianity, and parents who often knew little more.

Of the children who were questioned, more than a third failed to identify either the Good Samaritan or David and Goliath as Biblical stories.

Many of the parents who responded saw the Bible as a source of good values for their children.

But almost half did not recognise the story of Noah's Ark as coming from the Bible, and many confused Biblical stories with plotlines from well-known films such as Harry Potter".

Thursday, 6 February 2014

St. Dorothy

"St. Dorothy was a young virgin, celebrated at Caesarea, where she lived, for her angelic virtue. Her parents seem to have been martyred before her in the Diocletian persecution, and when the Governor Sapricius came to Caesarea he called her before him, and sent the child of martyrs to the home where they were waiting for her.

She was stretched upon the rack, and offered marriage if she would consent to sacrifice, or death if she refused. But she replied that "Christ was her only Spouse, and death her desire".

She was then placed in the charge of two women who had fallen away from the Faith, in the hope that they might pervert her; but the fire of her own heart rekindled the flame in theirs, and led them back to Christ.

When she was set once more on the rack, Sapricius himself was amazed at the heavenly look she wore, and asked her the cause of her joy. "Because," she said, "I have brought back two souls to Christ, and because I shall soon be in Heaven rejoicing with the angels".

Her joy grew as she was buffeted in the face and her sides burned with plates of red-hot iron. "Blessed be Thou," she cried, when she was sentenced to be beheaded - "blessed be Thou, O Thou lover of souls! Who dost call me to Paradise, and invitest me to to Thy nuptial chamber".

St. Dorothy suffered in the dead of winter, and it is said that on the road to her passion a lawyer called Theophilus, who had been used to calumniate and persecute the Christians, asked her, in mockery, to send him "apples or roses from the garden of her Spouse". The saint promised to grant his request, and, just before she died a little child stood by her side bearing three apples and three roses. She bade him take them to Theophilus and tell him this was the present which he sought from the garden of her Spouse.

St. Dorothy had gone to Heaven and Theophilus was still making merry over his challenge to the saint when the child entered his room. He saw that the child was an angel in disguise, and the fruit and flowers of no earthly growth.

He was converted to the Faith, and then shared in the martyrdom of St. Dorothy.

Reflection - Do you wish to be safe in the pleasures and happy in the troubles of the world? Pray for heavenly desires, and say, with St. Philip, "Paradise, Paradise!"

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

UN Instructs Vatican to Implement Systematic Child Abuse Programme

Today, on the Feast of St. Agatha, holy Virgin martyred for the love of purity and chastity, the United Nations urged the Vatican to get with the programme and institute a real and effective policy of systematic child abuse.

The would-be New World Order government, whose Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the election of Jorge Bergoglio last year, presented its instruction in a report published today by its 'Committee on the Rights of the Child'.

The UN report critically examined the Vatican's response to sexual predators, concluding that it didn't like Vatican officials pussy-footing around, wasting time and effort covering up for child molesters. The UN child abuse authorities urged the Vatican to implement more effective policies by promoting contraception, sodomy and the annihilation of unborn children as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


We received today by email an interesting article that re-enforces the astute observations made by Hilaire Belloc in his almost prescient The Free Press, nearly 100 years ago.

Some frank admissions: 

Recently, Seymour Hersh, America's top mainstream investigative reporter, broke the news that the US government's claim to have killed Osama Bin Laden on May 2nd, 2011 is “a big lie. There is not one word of truth in it.”

Hersh went on to harshly criticize his long-time employer, the New York Times, and other big media outlets: “We lie about everything, lying has become the staple.” .......

Sherwood Ross, an award-winning journalist who has worked for the City News Bureau of Chicago, the Chicago Daily News, and for Reuters and other wire services..... explained that American journalists are no longer free to expose even the most outrageous official falsehoods and fabrications.....

Another leading American journalist, Paul Craig Roberts, has also been banned from US mainstream media for telling the truth about 9/11. Dr. Roberts served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, won the French Legion of Honor and other awards for his contributions to economics, and has been a regular columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and other mainstream publications. But since he spoke out about the controlled demolitions of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers on 9/11, Paul Craig Roberts has been put on the mainstream media's no-publish list.....

"It's no longer run by journalists, it's run by corporate advertising executives. The value of these media conglomerates resides in their federal broadcast licenses. And so they can't dare offend the government. Their licenses may not get renewed, and the entire multi-billion-dollar value of the companies would disappear. So, the so-called mainstream media is no longer the media. It doesn't tell you anything. It's a propaganda ministry - the Ministry of Propaganda. Gerald Celente calls them 'presstitutes'.” 

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Times They are A-Changin'

"If you had been of the world, the world would love its own". 

An MTV Press Release from December reminds us that  "... Francis doesn't stop being acclaimed throughout the whole world.

MTV College declares him as the man of the year because he's not pressured by Catholic dogma and is more inclusive for gays (sic) and also talks about not obsessing with closed mind rules when speaking of abortion, contraception and homosexuality".

Not to be left behind in the adoration stakes an issue of Rolling Stone magazine devotes its cover and an inside article to the man it fondly describes as being revolutionary and "a change agent".

NewVatican approves, of course, re-tweeting a photograph showing cartoon-character graffiti depicting the adoring world's latest and greatest superhero.

But don't worry - Carmel Books has plenty of kryptonite in stock.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

St. Brigit: Mary of the Gael

St. Brigit was born at Faughart near Dundalk. Her parents were baptized by St. Padraig, whom she developed a close friendship with. Her father was Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and her mother, Brocca, a slave at his court.As a young girl she formed an interest in the religious life and took the veil from St. Macaille at Croghan. She was professed by St. Mel of Armagh, who conferred abbatial authority on her.

Brigit settled with seven other virgins at the foot of Croghan Hill for a while, and then with St. Macaille followed St. Mel to Meath. About the year 470 she founded a small oratory at Cill-Dara which became a centre of great learning and spirituality, and around it gradually formed the cathedral city of Kildare. Two monastic institutions were established in Kildare by Brigit, one for men and one for women, and St. Conleth was appointed as spiritual director of both, with Brigit as abbess of the convent.

The Abbess of Kildare then founded a school of art and its illuminated manuscripts became famous, notably the Book of Kildare, which was praised as the finest illuminated Irish manuscript before it was destroyed by heretics during the Reformation.

St. Brigit is famed for her extraordinary spirituality, boundless charity, and compassion for those in distress. Known as The Mary of the Gael because of her great virtue, she is buried at Downpatrick along with St. Columbcille and St. Padraig, with whom she is the patron of Ireland.